Tag Archives: courts

Congress, the Courts and Net Neutrality

The war for net neutrality has moved to the halls of Congress and the courtroom. Attorneys generals from 21 states and the District of Columbia have filed suit to overturn the FCC‘s new rules on net neutrality. But the battle is not just the states against the FCC. Technology companies and public interest groups have also filed law suits. Firefox browser maker Mozilla, the public-interest group Free Press and New America’s Open Technology Institute have all taken up the battle for net neutrality. Other major tech-industry companies including Facebook, Google and Netflix are getting in the fight along with other lobbying groups. 

The lawsuit, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was kicked off in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The petition asks the court to overturn the the FCC’s decision claiming the rule is “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” under the law. The suit also argues that the the FCC improperly reclassified broadband as a Title I information service, rather than a Title II service, because of  “an erroneous and unreasonable interpretation” of communications law. Title II services, also known as common carriers, are subject to greater regulation.

An example of a Title II service would be the U.S. Postal Service. The post office can’t deny service to people sending letters it disagrees with. Another example is the phone company. The phone company can’t refuse service to people based on their religious views. Everyone has the same right to pay to use the service. Until now ISPs were considered common carriers.

The lawsuits are a multi-faceted battle to preserve net-neutrality. In congress Democrats are working to undo the new rule. Democrats in the Senate announced that they were just one vote shy of winning a vote to restore Obama era net neutrality rules. All 49 Democrats have agreed to vote for the repeal of the new Internet regulations. On the Republican side Senator Susan Collins of Maine supports the action.  That leaves Democrats searching for the final Republican to cross the party line and join them. The idea is not so far fetched since the net neutrality issue is a hot button issue for young people and the mid-term elections are approaching.

“Given how quickly we have gotten 50, we have a real chance of succeeding,” said Senator minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York in a statement.

Even if the Democrats succeed in getting the votes the rules does not automatically change. The same bill would have to be introduced and passed in the House of Representatives. That body is controlled by the Republicans and House Speaker Paul Ryan could simply refuse to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Finally, there is Donald Trump. He has to sign the bill to reverse the FCC action. Although the White House has publicly said it supports the the FCC move Trump has never been sure what he wants to do about net neutrality.

According to his own tweets Trump was all in for net neutrality in 2014. Trump criticized Obama for attacking the Internet, and defended net neutrality as “the Fairness Doctrine.” Now that has changed and he is all for the new rules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class Action Websites Issue Free Dollars

fotographic 1980

fotographic 1980

Everybody loves a dollar. Now what if you could get a few dollars for free? Have you drank a Red Bull energy drink in the last 12 years?  If so then they owe you a few dollars.  Are you an AT&T customer? They just settled a lawsuit for cramming their customer bills with unauthorized charges. That’s a $105 million settlement. Want some of that?

Every year there are hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements that go to consumers. Yes, the lawyers get a nice share of the loot but millions of consumers are eligible for the rest. And millions of those dollars go unclaimed every year. The trick is keeping track of all of them and knowing how to ask for your money. And in many cases that’s all you have to do is ask. Most settlement claims ask only that you guarantee you are telling the truth and you don’t need a receipt proving you purchased the item in question. The process requires you to certify you bought the product and estimate how much you purchased. It’s not a bad way to grab some extra cash. 

Lets have a look at the websites that will help you to keep track of who settled for how much and how to get your cut.

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Top Class Actions –This is a very informative website that offers news and information about all the latest lawsuit settlements. Its the first thing you see at the top of the page. Why? Because if you see any suit you believe you qualify for you can click on the “Click Here To File A Claim” button at the bottom of the news story to get the process started. Right next to it are the lawsuits that are settled. The page also has a list of current investigations. So you can find a lot of information about what money is available and what could be coming in just a few minutes on this site. But if you’re lazy just have them email the information you. There is a subscription button on the home page as well as pop up when you visit the site.

Top Class Actions website connects consumers to class action settlements. The website publishes news about all the possible settlements from suits involving product liability lawsuits and mass tort updates as they’re filed. The stated goal of Top Class Actions is to help consumers find the settlement, claim a portion of the settlement and ultimately receive compensation from every class action settlement they qualify to participate in. The site also helps  consumers hook up with lawyers who can help them seek remedies for grievances involving consumer products. These include drugs, medical devices, employment issues, and more. Top Class Actions has a network of lawyers that are waiting to hear from you about any problem you have regarding those items. All you have to do is fill out the complaint form and someone will review it. The one thing I did not like about the site was that it has a link for lawyers who “Have a case in mind but don’t have the clients?” This leads me to believe that this maybe a group of lawyers looking for someone to sue. I wonder what the legal code of ethics says about that?

 

My Settlement ClaimsFor its purpose this is site is pretty straight forward and simple. The first thing you see is the list of class action settlements available. You can also perform a search for the settlement you maybe looking for. You can search by category using the drop down menu or you can do a more specific search using the search window provided. This site also provides some pretty straight forward answers to questions like “What is a class action suit?” You can find a lot more answers in the FAQs. The owners of this website seem to have put some research into that area of the website. My Settlement Claims is a simple site to use and cuts straight to the question everyone is asking; who is going to pay me? If you click on the “Find a Lawyer” tab you will discover another invitation for lawyers and others to sue someone. There is also a news tab that allows you to see the latest lawsuit news and updates.

Filing a claim is a fairly easy task on this website. My Settlements Claims presents a list of products you may own, or services you may have paid for that was the subject of a class action lawsuit and eventual settlement. All you have to  do is  mark the items that apply to you and click the ‘Start’ button.

The site uses an eligibility determination process that takes the user you through a series of questions to determine their eligibility as class members and awards. The guide will also tell the potential value of each of your claims.

After you complete the process the site will provide links to all of the claim forms for all settlements you qualify for. You can fill out as many as you like.  Its free money.

Class Action Rebates

Class Action Rebates – I found this to be the most enticing of all the websites.  The first thing a visitor sees are the companies and how much they are paying out to each claim. The site allows you to just click on a settlement notice and to see all the details of the settlement and the stipulations for filing your claim. This includes whether you need to prove you used or purchased the product in question. This is the only website that immediately revealed what the claimant can get. Like the other sites you can sign up for emails that alert you of the latest settlements. Another unique thing about this site is that users can leave comments about the product and the settlement. Class Action Rebates does not offer you a lawyer or give you the idea to sue somebody.

 

Consumer Action: Name as Logo Graphic

Consumer ActionConsumer Action offers an up to date database of class action settlements along with the deadline to file. It is also one of the more in-depth websites with the ability to provide information in several languages. The site offers an impressive quick menu for searching that is beyond anything offered by other sites. You can find news and information about consumer affairs as well as special reports for consumers. Consumer Action also has a political and consumer advocacy angle that you won’t find on other sites. You can find information about grass root consumer activity, consumer justice, community education and more. The site offers so much more for consumers that juts a way to find some free money. You have to appreciate this site as it appears to be more than a money clearing house or lawsuit generator that I found on other sites.

If you wanted to you could spend an eight hour day just claiming part of the many settlements that the courts hand down. I do not advocate using these sites to collect free money without good cause. But there are so many class settlements against so many products you may be able to claim a few hundred dollars in a year. Its money that is designated for the consumer who was duped or in some way wronged by these companies. At the very least you can sign up for the email alerts. Its all free including the money.

These are just a few of the class action settlement websites that you can find on the web. You can perform your own web search for others. And get that money!

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